Wanstead & Snaresbrook remain very much in title contention in second after they battled to a 20-run win at Hadleigh & Thundersley.

The result means that they remain two points off leaders Hornchurch, who also tasted victory against Brentwood.

In a match dominated by the ball, Wanstead made 166 from their innings thanks largely to a battling 51 from captain Joe Ellis-Grewal.

Only 18 from Bilal Patel offered anything in the way of support, as extras (27) finished as the second top scorer.

Richard Revell (4-27) and Haider Ali Syed Zaidi (3-23) proved the architects of Wanstead’s downfall to restrict their total to what looked a below-par score.

In reply the visitors were relentless as they quickly reduced Hadleigh to 35-4 with Zain Shahzad’s 3-33 leading the way early on.

He had good support from Jahansher Akbar (3-38) and Mohammed Fayyaz Khan’s 2-21, with only Ashley Bennett’s 39 making a dent in the scorecard.

Lower-order resistance temporarily arrived thanks to 12 from captain Revell and 15 from Adam Dobson, but it was the dismissal of Bennett that proved terminal to their hopes as Hadleigh were bowled out for 146.

Chingford returned to winning ways with a thrilling nine-run victory at home to Chelmsford, a result that moved them back above Brentwood and into third.

The hosts posted a useful 287-7 from their 50 overs thanks chiefly to an excellent opening stand of 124 between captain Alfie Taylor (68) and Alex Agedah (55).

There were useful runs in the middle order, too, as Andrew MacGregor notched up 61, while Peter McDermott added 45.

Chelmsford shared the wickets as Oliver Devenish (2-41) and Ben Waring (2-45) combined to leave the game evenly poised at the half-way mark.

In reply, Matt Smith (2-44) struck to remove Dan Hagen who had hit a rapid 33 to leave the score 45-1.

However a strong 115-run partnership between skipper Jack Sterland (64) and opener Robert Hayto (55) threatened to take the game away from Chingford.

But a Taylor-inspired bowling unit would come roaring back as Chelmsford stumbled from 160-1 to 163-4 with the skipper (3-29) taking three quick wickets, including those of both Sterland and Hayto.

Further resistance with the bat arrived thanks to 33 from Bradley Green, 26 from Devenish and 25 from Sean Sullivan that took the Essex side to the brink of victory.

However disciplined bowling and regular scalps saw Chingford home.

Ilford eased their relegation worries with a comprehensive eight-wicket victory at Southend-on-Sea to move up to fifth.

In a congested Premier Division table, an indifferent spell of form had threatened to pull the east Londoners closer to the drop zone but an excellent performance at Southchurch Park saw them back on the winning trail.

Southend’s total of 156 was never likely to be enough, despite the best efforts of captain Joe Robbins (54) who made an excellent half-century.

It was Arshad Haroon who was the chief tormentor for the visitors, racking up 4-40 including three of the Southend top four.

Mohammed Ahktar (2-22) and Theeban Tavarasa (2-28) also chipped in an efficient bowling performance.

In reply, Ilford were not fazed by the early loss of Ahktar for four, as an unbeaten 52 from Harsh Kumar, 38 from Saf Imtiaz and 30 from Akash Raji guided them to their victory target inside 28 overs.

Buckhurst Hill remain hot on the heels of the top two in Division One after responding to their previous week’s setback against Colchester with a thrilling two-run victory at Harold Wood.

An opening stand of 88 between Hendro Puchert and Ryan Karunakaran (35) got Hill off to the desired start, with the former eventually making a well-constructed 73 as they finished on 226 all out.

Useful supplementary runs arrived in the middle order thanks to 27 from Ricky Reynolds and 25 from Russell Beckett, as Taqi Abbas (5-41) and Hamzah Ikram (3-39) performed well with the ball to leave Wood requiring 227 for victory.

The home side began brightly with a series of strong partnerships looking likely to consign Hill to back-to-back defeats.

Both openers, Mdaminul Isalm Shihan and Hafiz Yawar Afzal made 21, before Raihan Hussain (74) and captain Craig Perrin (62) left Wood requiring less than 100 runs to win.

However, Hill initiated an extraordinary collapse as Harold Wood threw away the prospect of victory to subside from 191-3 to 224 all out.

The two Sahars, Usman and Irfan (2-54), led the charge, with the former posting figures of 5-29 to decimate the Wood lower order and claim victory.

Woodford Wells, meanwhile, moved out of the relegation zone with a comfortable seven-wicket win at home to Hainault & Clayhall, a result that sees them sit seventh – 10 points clear of danger.

George Ellis’ 5-29 stole the show for Wells as he combined with Viraj Ghandi (3-19) to help dismiss Hainault for just 135; Sadaif Mehdi top-scored with 41 while Danial Mahmood made 21.

Wicket-keeper Joe Johnson led the way in reply with 59, and there was useful support from George Styles (19 not out) and Knut Wilmott (18) as Woodford reached their victory target after just 22 overs.

Loughton remain perched atop Division Two after a fourth win on the bounce saw them dispatch Harlow by 49 runs, a result that means they now sit 31 points clear of third.

Batting first, they got off to a dreadful start as Nicky Baxter ran riot with 5-19 to leave them in a precarious position.

Four batsmen went for ducks as Bilaal Anwar, Vibhor Yadav, Luke Parker and Bilal Butt failed to trouble the scorers.

However, they were rescued by their lower order as an unbeaten 92 at number eight from Vishak Surendra, and 33 from Andrew Bridges steered Loughton to a respectable 228-9.

Bottom club Harlow’s innings initially mirrored the Loughton one before it as Bridges (4-23) took the early breakthroughs of Lee Jessey (12) and Soulat Ali (0).

Rehman Ahmed rebuilt things with 58 and, aided by some wayward bowling to the tune of 43 extras, Harlow remained in with a chance of forcing victory.

But when he fell to Surendra (2-42) all hope was lost as Loughton showed their mettle to triumph.

South Woodford registered a crushing 141-run victory at home to Fives and Heronians to remain in contention for the top two promotion places.

Woodford, who sit fourth, could not afford defeat against a Fives side who occupy second spot in the division.

The hosts racked up a score of 301-9 thanks to half-centuries from Bradley Copper (67) and Jamie Carroll (58), and useful supporting acts from Kasey Harris (43) and Henry Blackwell, who made 42.

Jonny Kay (3-41) and Lakshan Rodrigo (3-54) were the pick of a Fives attack that haemorrhaged 33 extras to leave a daunting chase.

High-flying Fives never threatened victory in reply as Copper (4-33), Saihaj Jaspal’s 3-33 and Harry Shirt with 2-39 restricted them to 160 all out.

In Division Three, Woodford Green leapfrogged Benfleet into second after securing a four-wicket win against Stanford-Le-Hope.

A five-fer from Amrit Ryatt (5-36) and 3-44 from Usman Azhar did the bulk of the damage with the ball as only Jack Carter, with a battling 51, posted anything respectable for Stanford.

With a victory target of 183 Green did not have it all their own way in reply, however, as two wickets apiece from Adam Knight (2-30) and Jason Choromanski (2-50) gave the hosts hope.

A quicker than a run a ball 39 from Ashish Rai, coupled with an unbeaten 26 from Azhar, helped Woodford to the win inside 38 overs.

Epping slipped to a disappointing eight-wicket loss to Ardleigh Green that leaves them marooned in eighth.

Posting a total of 148, Sachin Bawa’s 47 and 33 from Ramiz Miah was all Epping could muster against a relentless Ardleigh bowling attack.

Jamal Chaudhry led the way with an excellent 4-27, while Zunair Jamil (3-30) and Scott Jackson (3-49) also played their part.

Green recovered from the loss of Chris Cook for 15 and Paul Hurworth for five to reach their victory target inside 23 overs.

An unbeaten 80 from opener Tom Gentle and 32 from Adam Thain consigned Epping to defeat.

Walthamstow are now within touching distance of second after surviving a scare to see off the stubborn challenge of basement dwellers West Essex by one-wicket.

West Essex posted 181 from their innings with captain Zohair Jan making 65, while both Asif Bala (3-32) and Richard Lindsay (3-35) shared six wickets between them.

In reply, Ahmed Riza took 6-62 to leave Walthamstow on the cusp of a shock defeat as the visitors struggled to develop partnerships once Bala (73) and Nick Porter (38) fell.

An inspired, unbeaten 20 from Richard Lindsay, however, arrested the slide and staved off defeat as Walthamstow limped home to a fourth-successive win.